Monday, June 17, 2024

Repositioning Of PHCs Is To Meet Service Delivery Expectations- Dr. Ehanire

The Nigerian Government says Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities has not met expectations due to inadequate funding.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, made this known at the National Health Dialogue, organized by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) and its sister organisation Premium Times, with the themed, Primary Health Care Financing: Role of State and Non state actors in Abuja. He said that shortage and mis-distribution of healthcare workers, dilapidated infrastructure and weak referral systems are also issues affection the PHCs.

Dr. Ehanire noted that the inadequacy in funding for the primary healthcare system has negatively impacted the delivery of services such as immunization and maternal and child health services. “The 1978 Alma Ata declaration and the recent 2018 Astana declaration on Primary Healthcare, indicate the need for a multi-sectorial approach to primary healthcare with the involvement of different stakeholders, including the community. Both declarations call for adequate financing for Primary Health Care systems to ensure optimal access to quality healthcare services at the community level. Robust primary healthcare financing in Nigeria would require collaborative efforts of both state and non-state actors.”

He pointed out that Nigeria has continued to make efforts to improve the proportion of resources allocated to the primary healthcare system across the country, with innovations such as the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, which has been a game changer and resulted in increased financing for the primary healthcare system through the different gateways.

The minister also said that the Federal Government’s next level agenda provides mandatory health insurance for Nigerians and guarantees a basic package of health service at no cost to citizens through the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund of the National Health Act.

On his part, the Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Walter Mulombo, disclosed that the National Health Account estimates that 16.6% of the Current Health Expenditure is from Government (Federal, State, and LGA), 11.8% is from development partners while 3.6% is from Insurance. He said that number of persons paying for healthcare out of pocket was with catastrophic potentials was still high.

He urged governments at all levels to complement themselves and collaborate with non state actors including the private sector to boost healthcare. Non State Actors have therefore been integral partners towards ensuring that no one experiences financial hardship and unmet. In her presentation, the Director of PHC System Development of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Ngozi Nwosu who highlighted the Federal Government’s efforts to improve PHC said, the introduction of the NHAct 2014 is to provide access to health services for all Nigerians and increased investment through the BHCPF which is at least 1% CRF.

She further said the Primary Healthcare Under One Roof (PHCUOR) scorecard mechanism to improve quality through rigorous assessment of PHC Systems.

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